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viernes, septiembre 29, 2023
HomeSports-CarsFord Fiesta ST production ends this week, Australia's last examples in showrooms

Ford Fiesta ST production ends this week, Australia’s last examples in showrooms

The Ford Fiesta is a few days away from the end of the road in Europe, after close to 50 years of production. And the final examples in Australia are about to sell out.

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The final examples of the Ford Fiesta hatch – including the Fiesta ST hot-hatch variant – are due to be roll off the production line in Germany this month after 47 years and 22 million sales, as city-car buyers continue to switch to SUVs.

UK publication Autocar reports the last Fiesta hatchbacks are due to roll off the assembly line in Cologne, Germany this Friday 7 July – a few days later than the June 2023 date announced in October 2022.

The final examples for Australia arrived earlier this year, after the plug was pulled locally in August 2022 shortly after the facelifted model arrived.

As of last week there were just two examples of the Fiesta ST hot hatch – the only variant available since 2020 – left in Australian showrooms, a Ford Australia spokesperson told Drive.

The Ford Fiesta will reach the end of the line as buyers continue to flock from traditional hatchbacks to SUVs.

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Furthermore, a strong shift to electric vehicles in Europe – where there are more stringent emissions rules – makes a new petrol-powered Fiesta financially unviable for the car-maker.

The Ford Fiesta was Europe’s second best-selling car outright in 2012, with more than 300,000 reported as sold – and hit a 21st-century peak of 459,000 sales in Europe in 2009.

However sales had plummeted to less than half that amount (229,000) by 2019, and in 2021 Ford reported 82,000 examples as sold in Europe – less than a fifth of the 2009 result.

City hatchbacks cost almost as much to design, develop and build as larger cars, including SUVs with similar footprints but taller bodies – but bring in less profit as their retail prices are lower, making them harder to keep fresh and justify continuing to invest in.

In Australia, Ford has reported 94,064 examples of the Fiesta as sold between the nameplate’s local debut in 2000, and the end of May 2023.

To the end of May, 802 examples of the current seventh-generation model – offered only in Fiesta ST hot-hatch guise – have been reported as delivered since it arrived in Australia in 2020.

The split between pre-facelift 2020-2021 and facelifted 2022-2023 models has not been disclosed, however it is estimated about 640 pre-facelift examples have been sold, compared to 160 facelifted versions.

The death of the Ford Fiesta will make space in its Cologne factory for the new Ford Explorer electric SUV – based on Volkswagen underpinnings – as well as a sportier electric SUV twin which may reprise the iconic Capri sports-car badge.

It marks the end for the Fiesta ST badge, now in its third generation globally – the original was branded as the Fiesta XR4 here, but sold as an ST overseas – with roots that trace back to the 1980s Fiesta XR2.

The final two Ford Fiestas will be retained by Ford, according to Autocar, for its ‘heritage fleets’ – manufacturer-owned and run collections of a car maker’s classic models, which are available for media use – in Germany and the UK.

Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

Read more about Alex MisoyannisLinkIcon

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